Reading Touched: The Caress of Fate by Elisa S. Amore was a journey, an experience, and a time that shall always be remembered. I cannot say Amore’s novel has taken place among my favorite romance novels, but the story drew me in and hooked me. Overall, this review will cover how I first found out about the series, what attracted me to it, and how it kept me reading until the very end.
Discovering the Touched Saga
The promoted advertisements on Facebook are expensive. I have dabbled with Facebook advertisements and have a fair idea of how much money is sunken into having one’s work promoted on other’s Facebook feeds. Therefore, when I saw The Touched Saga page promoted on my own social media feed, I went ahead and clicked the page link.
The realization that this book’s romance had a strong paranormal element only helped seal the deal for me—I bought the first book of the series a few days later on Amazon.
The Attraction to Touched
Author Elisa S. Amore, who lives in Italy with her husband and child, first officially published her paranormal romance novel in her home country. The novel did well enough to encourage the author to have someone translate her manuscript and then send it over to the United States. Fortunately for her and her future American readers, Amazon picked up the book and began distributing across the country.
Amore described in the acknowledgment section of Touched a bit of the arduously long process between writing the first draft and distributing the book in Europe and the States. Touched: The Caress of Fate was her first novel and its publicity came from the author, her family and friends, and her adoring fans. So, ultimately, I decided to buy the first book of the saga to see exactly how she wrote a novel and worked to get it out into the world.
Touched: The Caress of Fate – A Summary
The novel begins with Evan, an Angel of Death, watching some teenagers. These teenagers are Evan’s next assignment, and their time is just about up. After the teens have taken their last breaths, Evan quickly travels to a forest in a small town where his next assignment is. Then something unexpected happens to Evan. A young woman suddenly appears in the woods. Normally this wouldn’t phase Evan, but this young woman is different. She can see Evan, even in his ethereal form.
Evan is shaken. He messes up his next assignment—making the death look suspicious as opposed to natural—and becomes obsessed with this beautiful girl who could see him. He and his angelic brothers and witch sister settle in the small town where the beautiful young woman Gemma lives. Evan, transfixed with the strong aura around Gemma, uses his abilities to secretly spy on her. Several hours later he receives his next assignment: Gemma.
Evan is devastated. He battles within himself, preparing to do his duty and transport Gemma to the next world, but still lingers about Gemma, learning her personality and her habits. He soon realizes that he loves Gemma, and he knows he would do anything to save her from what fate has in store for her.
Gemma, completely oblivious to the spiritual world in which Evan is involved, wonders about the boy she saw. He was more beautiful than any other boy she had ever known. Though Peter, her long-term friend, actively tries for her time and attention, Gemma only has thoughts for Evan. When Evan and Ginevra, his witch sister, enroll at the local high school, Gemma goes through all sorts of emotional turmoil over thoughts of being inferior and not deserving Evan.
When the time comes for Gemma’s death, Evan takes a different course than usual, pulling in all his family to help him save Gemma. But the higher authorities have plans of their own. Gemma, having missed her natural appointment with death, is suddenly running for her life. Having been kept ignorant of everything concerning Even, Gemma at last learns who Evan and his family are and what she and Evan truly mean to each other as their relationship blossoms.
Evading a different Angel of Death several times, Gemma finally falls prey to one of Evan’s enemies—a fellow forsaken child of Eve. But the story isn’t over. When dealing with the supernatural, almost anything is possible. Evan might not save his own soul in regards to his ancestry and what his bloodline entails, but he had found his own angel in the form of Gemma.
Touched: The Caress of Fate – An Analysis
I, as a woman and a reader, liked the main heroine. Gemma was a bit of a loner who liked to read, but she retained close friendships with a few classmates. I liked her because she reminded me of myself at her age. However, I cannot say I contained her strength of character, or that I attracted anyone based on the strength of my personality and soul. Gemma attracted the love and attention many girls like her wanted—all in the form of Evan.
I disliked Evan’s character. Though his love for Gemma was strong and desirable, Evan had a tendency to tease his loved ones and to be emotional and irrational. I might be the weird one here, but I prefer my heroes to be gentlemen, completely in control of their emotions and kind in speech. To be fair, the author often described Evan as not knowing what had gotten into him. Additionally, his human life was over 300 years prior to the time of the story, so he may have been a true gentleman when he was a human, and I just didn’t get to see it.
Instead of reading about a boy and girl getting to know each other for the first time, the readers immediately saw the passion, the sensuality, and the desire between Evan and Gemma. Sometimes this went so far as to feel creepy, as Gemma would later point out to Evan in the story. All of the passion was a bit much for me.
Despite my dislike of the main hero and the constant reference to his “sensual voice,” there was something about the story that kept me reading. It might have been because I had never read about an Angel of Death or it might have been because the romance was very clean overall. Though the cursing was often misused and unnecessary, I could somewhat understand the emotions on any given page—such as the desperation in the newfound love being lost and the rage in having someone take your love.
Overall, I enjoyed the first book in the Touched saga and am looking forward to the following novels. The storyline was intriguing, and even if the writing was a bit repetitive, I cannot and will not put the series down. I will cheer on Gemma and Evan’s romance and see where Amore’s later novels place the couple.
Conclusion to Touched
I have Author Elisa S. Amore to thank for working to get her story made available to me and other readers. Her biographical material and acknowledgements make her sound like a very down-to-earth and kind woman (which is high-praise in my book!) and I wish I knew even more how she accomplished bringing her story to the States. Even if the book doesn’t rate very high on my shelf, I still admire the woman for her effort and perseverance.
I give the paranormal romance novel a 7/10 for keeping my attention and having me guessing on how the story would end.